How Much Does it Cost to Build an App?

Smartphones, the device that not only helped revolutionize communication but also brought all services at our fingertips.  Yes, it can contain potentially all mobile apps which can help in very trivial work, like ordering groceries (Postmates) to extremely complicated tasks like investing in stock exchanges (Robinhood). And with all these apps we get the curiosity in mind to know how much does it cost to build an app?

As an entrepreneur you surely know this. So your call for investing in an app perfectly resonates with your revenue roadmap of your organization.  You have your ideas ready, but the only question that is bothering you is, the cost of creating an app? Correct?

Although you can use an app development cost calculator to know how much it will cost to build an app, but here you’ll get your answers in detail. Now, let’s jump to another nested question i.e. what other factors drive the cost of an app. 

factors drive the cost of an app

Let’s quickly address each of your questions here. The cost of an app largely depends on the level of complexity it carries. Just to give you a general idea, below  is the cost of making an app according to the level of complexity.

Just to give you a general idea, Below  is the Cost of Making an App According to the Level of Complexity.

Type of App Time to build Estimated cost

Simple App

3 – 6 Months

$5,000 – $10,000

Medium App

6 – 10 Months

$10,000 – $20,000

Complex App

10+ Month


Developing an app is really not a piece of cake. This requires a lot of team effort and proper planning within the requested timelines. From analyzing the customer’s ask to marketing it right, this all has to be done in the right manner. Most significant factors that determine cost of making an app are:

Below are The Main Factors that Determines the Cost of Making an App:

1. Features and functionality: 

The major cost driver for your question  “how much does it cost to build an app”  are the features. The more features your app will have the more it will cost you. Additionally, the complexity of features is directly proportional to the cost of developing an app. If you want to embed a chat support system in your app, that will have a separate cost associated with it. If you want to make a booking or purchase with a 360 virtual preview, the cost will vary. Do you want a payment gateway too, a higher amount will be added in the cost of having an app made. A smart move for you will be to look at what the competition is doing and list down the pain points of the app and the appreciated features as well. Club the best features together and make your mind about what all the features you want to bring to your app. List down some of the features and their functionalities.

List down some of the features and their functionalities:

Features Function

Sign Up

Form field


Log In

Log in from OTP

Log in from phone number

Log in from social media

Forgot Password


Profile Completion

Edit Profile

Change Photo

Change Password

Link Social Media

Add Card


Profile Update

Set Location

Update InFo

Update Contact details



Search the product

Search a feature



Chat to customer support

Report a query

Online status


Send voice message

Exchanging media files



Video call

Audio Call


User Management

Add contact

Delete contact

Block Contact



Send Location

Check Location

Set the pick up point


Rating and reviews

Rate a product

Leave a review


Payment gateway

Add a card

Add Paytm or digital transactions

See Passbook

Check balance

2. Look and feel of the App:

Some of us appreciate the subtle and minimalist look of an app but many of us want a vibrant look for our app. This also depends on the type of business you have. For example: We would love the subtle UI/UX for a cab booking app  but for a fashion clothing app, we would seek for vibrancy and color. Whatever the business idea be, the main focus of the UI/UX is that an app should look sorted and easy for a customer to access. If the user finds your app simple and easy to use, irrespective of a lot of features, you have already made it.  Good user experience increases customer engagement and customer loyalty. Here is a little advice for you when you decide to hire a graphic designer, always explore the profile and portfolio of the UI/UX designer because it will give clarity in terms of the work they do. Hiring a good UI/UX designer will definitely increase your average app cost

Make sure your UI/UX designer knows the following before sketching out the app design:

  • They should explore the competitor app’s look and feel
  • They should know the pain point of the customers. 
  • They should have a wireframe at place

3. OS (iOS, Android):

The cost of developing an app also depends on which OS you want to launch your app on. As per the current stats, android is ruling the market holding 72.83% of market share in the mobile industry while iOS has 26.35% of market share. It is very important to decide on your audience first, while deciding on launching an app. The development of an android app is more expensive than the iOS because the development time of an android app is more than the iOS. You can read about how much does it cost to build and iOS app and then can identify the proper costing. The android app has many libraries that are built together depending on the features and their case studies, hence this consolidation of proper libraries takes a lot of time for the android app development. 


4. Backend involved: 

A strong backend increases the average cost of developing an app. The backend holds the empowerment of an app, hence it is very important to have a great backend involved while developing an app. Backend provides things like cloud server, customer server and MBaaS which floats your data on cloud for providing you with quick results. These hold functions like encryption, security, database, storage and many more crucial information. The app scalability and snappiness depends completely on how scalable your backend is. There are various tools and platforms which offer great backend services and have great prices associated with them. The backend has to be robust and dynamic. While hiring a Backend developer make sure that they are analytical, logical, data driven, organized and symentic. As the backend involves a lot of glitches that have to be handled real time. 

5. Geographical location of the developers: 

  1. The success of your app largely depends upon how amazing your app development team is . We all know that the experience holder and talented developers charge more money for what they bring on the table. The cost of making an app also depends upon the domains where they are based. For example, the average app cost in the US will be more than the average cost of developing an app in India. The development team comprises various professionals like: 
  • Business Analyst: They are responsible for analyzing the business domains, matching requirements, documenting the process, looking at budget and providing the software business model. 
  • Project Manager: Once the software model is in place, the project manager assembles the team, assigns the work, makes sure the timelines are managed and provides essential resources to complete the project efficiently. 
  • Architect: Usually the architect determines the prototype, integrates the users feedback,  and supervises the design, testing and modifying every stage to perfection. 
  • Developer: They find the appropriate programming language for the requested feature and ideas and seamlessly code for building those features. Here there are two types of developers, front-end and backend designers. 
  • QA: Once the app has been developed by the designers, the very next step is to test the app in terms of their usability and functionality. The QA team makes sure that they should be catching each and every bug and then they report it to developers. Their main aim is to make sure that the app goes live without any bugs or drawbacks.
  • UI/UX Designer: They are responsible for designing eye catchy visuals and making sure the designs are eye soothing to the people using it.


6. App Maintenance cost: 

If you’re just bothered about the cost of making an app and you don’t know that only building an app will not mark your work as done. Revamping the app and maintaining it is also required and very important as bugs never approach with an invite. The cost in maintenance of any app usually includes:

  • Fixing the bugs
  • Introducing a new feature
  • Updating the existing OS
  • Stretching the database limit
  • improving stability  

7. Development team and their hourly rates:

 The experience and skill set of a developer is really important. It is your call to decide whether you want to proceed ahead with a freelancer who will surely charge you with less amount of money or will you move ahead to pay a pro developer who holds a background of creating innovative and bug free apps. Not only a developer plays a vital role here, but an app development team comprises various pillars such as QA team, Backend developer, UI/UX designer, Project manager and a business analyst. Cost of making an app depends largely on the hourly rates of these professionals based on their skillset and project handled earlier. To give you a better clarity, below is the hourly rate of the professionals based on their domains:

Professionals LATAM CEE Asia Northern America
Architect $45 – $95 $65 – $120 $45 – $75 $85 – $175
Project Manager $35 – $65 $50 – $75 $25 – $50 $70 – $125
Business Analyst $40 – $88 $50 – $90 $29 – $50 $95 – $160
Lead Developer $40 – $75 $55 – $90 $45 – $75 $80 – $175
Intermediate Developer $40 – $71 $48 – $65 $35 – $60 $65 – $130
Junior Developer $29 – $55 $45 – $55 $26 – $60 $96- $160
DevOps $45 – $76 $70 – $95 $28 – $60 $80 – $150
Senior QA $33 -$66 $40 – $75 $25 – $50 $60 – $95
Intermediate QA $28 – $59 $35 – $60 $22 -$40 $45 – $85
Junior QA $25- $50 $22 – $40 $18 – $40 $43 – $85
Graphic Designer $25 – $50 $40 – $75 $18 -$41 $95 – $140


8. Publishing the app and marketing it right:

Now that the QA team has done their part appropriately and the app is up without any live bugs. For the next step, the app is now to be hosted on the app store or google play. If you are adding process steps for estimating the cost of developing an app, count this process in.  This process takes a lot of documentation and protocols involved at places related to security purposes. From generating a signed apk to creating a developers google play account, from creating application forms to adding the description of your app, from selecting the pricing tab to maintaining the reviews and rating, this process has a lot to do. Also, the backend servers need to be deployed and run for the app to work which adds a few more dollars to the final cost.

Creating an app from scratch requires a lot of effort and hence to cater the hard work right, some marketers treat the launch of the app as an event and create a lot of buzz around it which is the right approach to bring downloads and usability from the users.

9. Project type

Deciding on which project type to opt for while developing an app is a real bulls eye to hit on. There are three type of major methodologies on which the app can be developed:

  1. Waterfall: As the name signifies, once you start the project you can’t go back and mend things. The plan has to be clear from day one. This method should be the ideal choice for the big project which has each and every step clear. Previous experiences play a vital role here. You also need to be clear on the budget. 
  1. RAD: RAD stands for Rapid App Development. This model relies mostly on the prototype of the app and  is best suited when you focus on the quick development of an app and keep reiterating the changes unless all the requirements are met. This is a very quick and flexible method of developing an app. As this method welcomes a lot of changes, constant feedback from the customers acts as an ice on the cake. 

Agile: Agile is very much similar to the RAD process in terms of flexibility. But it does not depend much on the prototype and once a feature is developed at a time with sufficient time. In an agile methodology you can work along with the UX designer, QA, Project Manager and technical writers but in the above stated two methods one has to wait unless the work is finished by a subsequent team.

Now that the factors that define how much does it cost to build an app are made clear above. Let me walk you through the different types of apps out there in the market.

1. Native Apps: These apps are built to function on specific devices using selective programming languages. Native apps are fast as they are specifically designed to function in a particular device. Native apps often have accessibility to your mobile devices which makes the touch on the camera, microphone, gallery, contact and swipe up gestures easy. The UI/UX of Native apps makes users feel at home. Native apps can work offline as well. But the biggest drawback it holds is, the same app won’t run on both iOS and Android. It requires two different developers for iOS and Android separately. The cost of making a native app is nearly $170,000. 

2. Hybrid/Cross-Platform App: Hybrid apps are designed so that it can function on all the platforms. A common base code is built using frameworks like ReactJS and Flutter and then further additional modifications are done as per the devices and OS. As there is only one base code so here you can save tons of energy, time and money. This is your go to strategy when you want to launch an app for both iOS and Android. Hybrid apps can be scaled further depending upon the requirement. The biggest flaw in this app is, the performance of this app can be slower sometimes. The cost of making a hybrid app can vary from $5000 – $100,000.

Read more – How do free apps make money

Final thoughts:

Now that you have a fair idea of the factors driving the cost of making an app. Let us tell you one thing here, hiring an in-house team for app development will cost you a lot. Why don’t you hire the best mobile app developer company? Don’t worry! Agicent has got all this covered for you. You can use our App cost calculator to estimate the cost of making an app from scratch. Get a better idea of our work by looking at our portfolio and the testimonials
How to create an app from scratch can turn into the biggest challenge for you. But we are here to help you. You just need to decide your idea and major functionalities that you would like to keep. As a mobile app development company, we deliver exceptional user experience and engagement. We work as a team, not as a vendor. Reach out to us, as we have 50+ app developers professionals who already have created apps with kickass features. Send us an email at [email protected] with your project query, or fill up a simple form by clicking on getting in touch, or call us at +1-347-467-1089 and our team will get in touch with you within 12 Hours!

Sudeep Bhatnagar
Co-founder & Director of Business
Sudeep Bhatnagar

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